Our Grove Dentist
Emergency Dentistry at Our Grove
If there is an emergency, do you know what to do? And if you know what to do, do you have the resources to do it? These questions draw attention to the importance of being prepared in the event of an emergency. When an injury occurs, you need convenient access to a medical kit for sterile materials to reduce any risk of infection.
Every household should have the resources to manage an emergency until further help arrives. First-Aid kits should be stored in the home and in each of the family’s vehicles, and each kit should be replenished after use. A well-equipped medical kit should include sterile gauze and single-use saline which are the resources of choice in a dental emergency. It is very important that every member of the family knows where to find the medical or First-Aid kit.
Many of us think of dental emergencies in terms of a knocked-out tooth and, while that is truly a dental emergency, not all dental emergencies result from trauma to the mouth. Tooth infections are also common dental emergencies due to the severe pain often associated with them. But not all toothaches are necessarily a sign of a dental emergency. So, how do we know if we need an emergency appointment? If a tooth has been knocked out or if it has broken through the pulp of the tooth, we recommend seeing a dentist for an emergency appointment as soon as possible. If your toothache is not manageable with over-the-counter pain medications it is likely that you require an emergency appointment.
During business hours, we recommend contacting our office to explain your circumstances and the degree of your discomfort if you are unsure. Our dentists ensure that there is time each day set aside for emergency appointments, and we will do our very best to accommodate you or offer further direction. Outside of office hours, you may need to seek out an emergency dentist at another location. If this is the case, we will be happy to offer follow up support back in our clinical setting.
Cracked or damaged tooth, lost fillings and lost crowns can all be sources of tooth pain. To determine whether there is infection present, look for redness around the area in question. There may be a foul taste weeping from that general area, and sometimes a pocket or pimple will appear on the gum tissue. Regardless of other symptoms, call your dentist for an emergency appointment if your pain is too severe to wait for a regular appointment.
The time spent awaiting your emergency appointment could make hours feel like days. To control swelling and pain, ice the outside of the cheek and sip on ice water but do not apply heat in any form. Applying heat will increase pain where there is any pressure.
- A tooth knocked out of its socket has its best chance at being replaced successfully if there is intervention within about 30 minutes of the incident. That means that staying calm and moving fast.
- Locate the tooth as soon as possible and place it inside the cheek. Never handle a tooth by its root.
- Roll sterile gauze into ‘logs’ and place them across the bleeding socket, biting down only hard enough to discourage the bleeding.
- Change the gauze when it becomes saturated.
- Call then proceed to the nearest emergency dentist
Collect the broken pieces of tooth if possible, tucking them deep inside the cheek. Use sterile gauze to control any bleeding in the area and proceed to your nearest emergency dentist.
Don’t Ignore It
If you have symptoms of a tooth infection, don’t ignore it. Infections of this type will not resolve on their own and could put the healthy tissues of other teeth at risk. More than that, tooth infections have the potential to become systemic infections which are a very serious threat to patient health.
Typically, tooth infections result in root canal therapy if the tooth can be retained, and a tooth extraction when it can not. Either procedure will seek to remove the tooth’s ability to send pain signals to the body by disconnecting the nerve inside the tooth.
To stop pain signals in a tooth that will be retained, your dentist will need to open the tooth and remove its contents, including the pulp and nerve. Once this has been achieved, comfort is returned to the patient while the dentist proceeds to sanitize the tooth in preparation for gutta percha. Gutta percha is the substance used to fill the cavity left behind by the root canal. Gutta percha may be sealed into the tooth with a dental filling, or more likely, a crown.
For questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.